Posted by Billyjam, December 19, 2008 12:14pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Hip-Hop Top Five: 12:19:08

scarface emeritus
1) Kanye West 808s & Heartbreak (Roc-A-Fella Records)

2) Evidence The Layover EP (Decon)

3) Q-Tip The Renaissance (Motown/Universal)

4) Ludacris Theater of the Mind (Disturbing tha Peace/Def Jam)

5) Scarface Emeritus (Rap-A-Lot/Asylum)

Special thanks to Ray for the top five selling hip-hop albums chart in the Hollywood Amoeba Music store this week, with new albums from the ever popular artists Kanye West, Ludacris, and Q-Tip all holding strong after been out for a number of weeks. New entries to the chart include the recent recommended CD The Leftover EP from rapper/producer Evidence (aka EV) of solo and Dilated Peoples fame, which may only have ten tracks but all are excellent. The other new release on this chart is Emeritus from Houston rap legend Scarface who first came to fame twenty years ago as part of the Geto Boys. This new album is Scarface's ninth (and supposedly last) solo album. He says he is going to retire from the rap game. But who knows? A lot of rappers have trouble quitting when they are still popular and Scarface has a dedicated fan base who appreciate his raw delivery, and tell-it-like-it style. He don't pull no punches when it comes to talking about the cops or his rivals. The video below of the new album song "High Powered" is directed at his rival Lil Troy who he implies is a snitch. In the interest of fairness, in interviews, Lil Troy claims that Scarface is a snitch. Of course in rap all of this heated rivalry and controversy only makes for good music.

Scarface "High Powered" from his new album Emeritus

Other new hip-hop releases include San Quinn & Keak da Sneak, EPMD, and Snoop Dogg, whose latest holiday themed release Snoop Dogg Presents Christmas In Tha Dogg House features exclusive epmd we mean businessholiday songs from Tha Dogg Pound, Soopafly, Bad Lucc, Damani, J. Black and The Hustle Boyz. Meanwhile the legendary hip-hop duo EPMD have returned with a brand new album released this week. Titled We Mean Business, this seventh album from the pair from Brentwood, NY continues the "business" album title theme the pair began in 1988 with Strictly Business and have continued through their career with
Unfinished Business (1989), Business as Usual (1990), Business Never Personal (1992), Back in Business (1997), and Out of Business (1999). We Mean Business, their first album in nine years, features appearances by KRS-One, Method Man, Redman, and Keith Murray among others.

With the exception of just two of the new album's thirteen tracks, this is an almost perfect hip-hop album. As its title implies, We Mean Business really does mean business. Unlike so many longtime hip-hop artists who often fall into the traps of either flailing in an attempt to keep up with the changing trends in their genre, or worse become a parody of their former selves, 20 years later in the game Erick & Parrish just effortlessly stay who they always were but without ever sounding passe or played out. This accomplishment can be credited to their genuine keak da sneak and san quinn welcome to scoklandoriginality and commitment to the hip-hop they want to make. Over the years label suits may have succeeded in persuading other artists to compromise their sound/souls, but EPMD are not such an act. If you listen to this album and then go back and check out some of their older tracks (Amoeblogged about here in an EPMD video retrospective), it is amazing how well the new music (production and rapping) compares to the old EPMD, which are all long bona fide hip-hop classics. 

Fillmore rapper San Quinn, who just a few weeks ago released his solo From A Boy To A Man (SMC), which sold very well at the San Francisco Amoeba store, is back with the Keak da Sneak collaborative project Welcome To Scokland. The "Scokland" in the title is a combination of the two Bay towns that the duo hail from (Quinn from the "Sco" -- San Francisco -- and Keak da Sneak from Oakland) and pretty much captures the flavor found on the album, the best of Bay mob music from two veterans in the game. Check back here in the new year for an interview with both Keak and Quinn.

DJs and vinyl collectors should already be aware that Amoeba is in the midst of a cool giveaway thanks to the folks over at RED Distribution who have hooked up Amoeba Music with a grip of vinyl for a great vinyl nina simone remixed and reimaginedphat pak contest to giveaway to a lucky person who really, really loves vinyl. In addition to all the vinyl there is also a brand new Ion Audio USB Turntable being given away, as well as a host of classic vinyl releases from the likes of Motley Crue, Elvis Presley, Social Distortion, Nina Simone, Peter Tosh, Joe Satriani, and more. Just click here to find out how to win.

Vancouver, Canada group Sweatshop Union, who are signed to San Francisco indie hip-hop label Look Records, will be performing tonight (12/19) at Club Six in San Francisco in support of their album Water Street, featuring such cool Sweatshop Union tracks as "Now" and "Oh My," which is an autobiographical track about doing hip-hop just for the love with the memorable line "I make money. Money don't make me." Also on this recommended hip-hop bill tonight will be the Bash Brothers, Boac, and Dnae Beats, plus DJi sets from the BOMB Hip-Hop's Jeff Harris and Dave Paul. 10PM - 2AM. $5. 21+.

Also jumping off in San Francisco tonight is an OM Records & Next Aid Crews' organized AIDS benefit at club Mighty (119 Utah St @ 15th), promising a night of "live funk & soul, house, disco, and holiday music" with a live performance by The Park and DJ sets from such turntable talents as M3, Rob G, Galen, Solar, DJ Fluid, J-Boogie, Lance DeSardi, Alland Byallo, and Ryan Poulson. The Park (Happy Mayfield, Alice Russell, & Nino Moshella) will be performing "a special holiday set" around midnight tonight. The event is free but welcome donations will benefit the NextAids & World Aids Day Campaign which is going on throughout this month. If you go to Mighty tonight make sure to look out for the North Pole lounge where Santa and his elves will be gifting presents and taking pictures. 10PM - 4AM.

Big ups to Troy Nelson at Brockway Entertainment for tirelessly compiling the most comprehensive list (all URL linked too!) of hip-hop radio shows in North America. And finally, if by chance you missed it first time around on the Amoeba Music website, check out the recent interview with Murs at Amoeba Music Hollywood.


Relevant Tags

Evidence (8), Sweatshop Union (1), Lil Troy (1), Scarface (4), San Quinn (15), Dave Paul (15), San Quinn & Keak Da Sneak (1)